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I'm currently writing fiction about a firm that collects debt from citizens who owe money to various places, such as banks, or government agencies (involving government loans or unpaid taxes). Is there a word to describe someone who owes a debt, specifically money, or does it vary depending on where the money is owed to? If a person who collects debt is a debt collector, perhaps a debt collectee?

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up vote 15 down vote accepted

We call that person a "debtor." (You can use this with companies too).

And I think you should use "creditor" for the other person.

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Actually, the firm she is writing about would be called a Collections Agency." They typically provide collection services to the actual creditor for some percentage of the amount collected- either by buying the debt outright at a discount or through a collections contract. – Jim Jun 2 '12 at 21:30

The word you're looking for is debtor.

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Beside debtor, you could use borrower and in case of mortgages mortgager.

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